Weekly Top 10
 
 
 
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. May 10, 2019
 

TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties

FROM: Daniel Rubin, Chairman;
Aleksander Smukler, President;
Mark B. Levin, Executive Vice-Chairman & CEO
 
Dear Friend,
 
This week, NCSEJ Chairman Daniel Rubin and I led a delegation to participate in the Kyiv Jewish Forum. We had very successful meetings with senior government officials, including President Petro Poroshenko and Foreign Minister Pavlo Kimkin. We discussed the relationship between the local Jewish community and the government and the state of U.S.-Ukrainian, Ukrainian-Israeli relations. We also visited the new Community Rehab Center—Beit Shmuel—in the town of Anatevka. 
 
On Wednesday, our delegation traveled to Chisinau, Moldova to learn about the current condition of the Moldovan Jewish community and to advocate for issues of concern. President of the Jewish Congress of Moldova Emmanuil Grinshpun hosted the delegation. While in Moldova, we have met with U.S. Ambassador to Moldova Dereck J. Hogan, President of Moldova Igor Dodon, and Speaker of the Parliament of Moldova Andrian Candu. Later, we participated in a roundtable discussion sponsored by Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Tudor Ulianovschi and  Minister of Education, Culture, and Research Monica Babuc, on promoting Holocaust education and preventing hate crimes.
 
On Sunday, Jews in the Republic of Georgia celebrated the inauguration of a massive educational complex in the center of the capital Tbilisi on land gifted by the government. The complex, boasting a floor space of more than 40,000 square feet, was opened last week and will begin serving in September the Jewish community’s various educational needs with about 260 pupils, according to the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, which funded the bulk of the project. 
 

Please register for our biannual Board of Governors Meeting on Tuesday, June 4. U.S. State Department Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan Carr and Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Yaakov Dov Bleich will both make presentations. To register, please go to www.ncsej.org/board_meeting

 

Sincerely,

 
 
Mark B. Levin
NCSEJ Executive Vice-Chairman & CEO
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NCSEJ WEEKLY TOP 10
Washington, D.C. May 10, 2019

Educational Complex Opens in Tbilisi, Georgia
By Cnaan Liphshiz
JTA, May 5, 2019 


Jews in the Republic of Georgia celebrated the inauguration of a massive educational complex in the center of the capital Tbilisi on land gifted by the government.

The complex, boasting a floor space of more than 40,000 square feet, was opened last week and will begin serving in September the Jewish community’s various educational needs with about 260 pupils, according to the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.


That organization and its president, Michael Mirilashvili, provided the bulk of the project’s overall cost of $2.2 million.


Fewer Than Half of Russians Support Syria Campaign, Poll Says
Moscow Times, May 6, 2019


The share of Russians who support President Vladimir Putin’s military intervention in Syria has dropped from more than half to less than half since August 2017, according to an independent Levada Center survey.

Russia launched air strikes in Syria in 2015, helping regime forces take back most of the country in the eight-year-long civil war. Moscow, which has since become an influential actor in the Middle East, now pushes for a political process involving talks on a new constitution and elections as a way to end the conflict.



Ukraine-Israel Relations on the Upswing, but Challenges Remain 
By Matthew Kupfer
Kyiv Post, May 9, 2019 


On May 5, around 100 people packed into a screening room in the Kyiv Cinema to watch From Slavery to Freedom, a new documentary about Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky and his struggle for the right to emigrate to Israel.

They weren’t just there for the film. They had also come to see Sharansky in person, ask him questions, and hear his views on Ukrainian and Jewish ties.


And the attendees weren’t just film and history buffs. They also included (briefly) President Petro Poroshenko, prominent Jewish Ukrainians, and even Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev and Ukrainian politician Stepan Khmara — both Sharansky’s fellow Soviet dissidents.



Israel Slams Putin Adviser for Claim Ukraine to Move Jews into ‘Cleansed’ Area
By Raphael Ahren
Times of Israel, May 7, 2019 


Foreign Ministry describes comments by Sergey Glazyev regarding Ukraine’s new Jewish president as ‘conspiratorial and anti-Semitic.’

Israel on Tuesday criticized an article authored by a close adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which claimed that Ukraine’s president may want to move Israeli Jews into parts of his country, as “conspiratorial and anti-Semitic.”


Jerusalem was “puzzled” by Sergey Glazyev’s article, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel.



Belarus Jews Honor Poway Shooting Victim
By Arutz Sheva Staff
Arutz Sheva, May 5, 2019


A special ceremony was held this past weekend at the Limmud FSU Conference in Minsk, the biggest Jewish event in Belarus, in memory of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was murdered last week in an anti-Semitic shooting attack at the Chabad synagogue in Poway, near San Diego, California.

The event was attended by many of the 600 participants who recited the Kaddish prayer and lit memorial candles. The event was initiated by the founder of Limmud FSU Chaim Chesler and the Chief Rabbi of Minsk and Chabad emissary, Rabbi Shneur Deutsch.

Alon Shoham, Israel's ambassador to Belarus also spoke about the growing incidence of anti-Semitic attacks taking place around the world and said that "we all should be alert, because as we've witnessed just last week, the attack may occur where you least expected it."


Ukrainian Jews Find Both Refuge, Exile in Israel
By Sam Sokol
Kyiv Post, May 9, 2019 


In late 2014, Russian newspaper Izvestia reported that the Ukrainian nationalist organization Right Sector had “declared war” on the Jews of Odesa, beating 20 people across the city. It was a blatant falsehood, but not a surprising one.

During the first two years of the conflict, Russian media produced a steady stream of fake news about Ukrainian Jewry, with Kremlin-controlled outlets reporting on everything from putative Ukrainian pogroms to the supposed closure of Jewish schools and newspapers.


One of the recurrent leitmotifs of Russia’s disinformation campaign was the claim that Ukrainian Jews were fleeing en masse due to anti-Semitism. There was, in fact, no mass exodus. Ironically, however, Russia’s rapidly escalating war in the Donbas did result in the scattering of local Jewish communities.



5 Books with Insight into Ukrainian-Jewish History
By Matthew Kupfer
Kyiv Post, May 9, 2019


There would be no modern Ukraine without Jews. And there would be no State of Israel without Ukraine.

This should be a truism. Yet, for many in the 21st century, the tie is not immediately obvious. Often, Ukraine is remembered as a place where Jews were killed, both by Bohdan Khmelnytskyi in the 17th century and by Adolf Hitler’s Nazis and local collaborators in the 20th.


Meanwhile, fewer recognize that many of the founding fathers of Israel came from what is today Ukraine. Many are unaware that Zionism and Ukrainian nationalism both emerged as national liberation movements for minorities in the Russian Empire.



 
 
 
 
 
 
[Link to pdf of full articles]
 
 
1120 20th Street NW, Ste. 300N Washington, DC 20036-3413
Telephone: +1 202 898 2500  |  ncsej@ncsej.org
 
 
 
About NCSEJ
 Founded in 1971, the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry represents the organized American Jewish community in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the estimated 1.5 million Jews in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including the 15 successor states of the former Soviet Union. 
 
 
Footer-logo